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Western University Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Going to learn down under

May 7, 2014

Going to learn down under
The great white north meets the land down under. Through the generosity of two Canadian-born entrepreneurs in Australia, Western students and scholars can expand their learning through an exchange program with Bond University.

Two Western alumni turned Australian business leaders are creating opportunities for students, faculty members and varsity athletes to learn lifelong leadership lessons.

Jack Cowin, BA’64, and his wife Sharon, BA’64, have donated $4 million to support global learning experiences and secure top-level coaching for Mustangs teams. During their time as student-athletes at Western, they both competed in varsity sports – he in football and wrestling, she in swimming.

“My time as a student and athlete taught me valuable lessons in leadership, perseverance, and commitment to excellence,” says Jack Cowin, “[which] have played a significant role in developing the values and skills that have taken me through my life.”

A $3-million portion of the gift establishes the Jack and Sharon Cowin Scholars Award to support academic exchanges between Western and Bond University in Australia.

“With this partnership, students and faculty members will gain invaluable experiences and perspectives, further enhancing their education and enriching their research,” says Western President Amit Chakma.

The remaining $1 million creates the Jack Cowin/Lone Star Coaching Excellence Fund – an investment in top-level coaches for Western’s varsity teams.


“The Cowins are giving student-athletes the support they need to train at an elite level, and bring their personal best to their sport, their future careers and their communities,” says Thérèse Quigley, director of Sports and Recreation Services at Western.

Cowin is the founder and chairman of Competitive Foods Australia Ltd., the largest private company and restaurant franchisor in Australia. He is also a director and majority shareholder of Lone Star Texas Grill.



This article appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of Impact Western
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